19 APRIL (PREACHED OLNEY FAIR DAY, 17 APRIL 1775)
The bride says, Come
‘And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.’ Revelation 22:17
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Revelation 14:1–7
The bride, that is, the church (Ephesians 5:25): the ‘church triumphant’ and the ‘church militant’—a double family. Both echo to the Spirit’s call and say, Come.
The church triumphant are nearer us perhaps than we are aware. Those who have escaped from this tempestuous world and are safe before the throne, have a regard for their brethren below, and most probably a knowledge of what passes here. We are told there is joy in heaven over a sinner that repenteth. They say, ‘Come, do not cleave to that poor earth, but raise your thoughts and prepare to follow us upwards. O could you see and know where we are and how we live, surely you would come. Come, be not afraid of the King, we have found him merciful. Distrust not his promises, we have found them all fulfilled. We were once as you are, sinful, distressed and almost despairing, but we overcame by the blood of the Lamb, and so shall you. Therefore, Come.’
John Newton to William Wilberforce, 30 March 1797:
Yes Sir! I trust you and I shall soon join in their songs, and share in their joys without abatement, interruption or end! And may we not believe that it will be some addition to our happiness, to meet with those whom we loved, with whom we took sweet counsel, and went to the house of God in company? Surely I shall not see my late, dear and honoured friend Mr Thornton without peculiar emotions of gratitude and joy! Shall I not be glad to thank your kind aunt, for all the kindness she showed me when she was below? There too I hope to meet my dear Mary and Eliza, and many more. Perhaps this paper could not contain the names of all who were once dear to me upon earth, and are now happy in heaven!
FOR MEDITATION: Oh, for more faith, to break through the veil, and obtain a clearer and more affecting realizing view of the glories of the unseen world! To behold the Lamb upon the throne, to hearken to the songs of the harpers, to contemplate the immense multitude who are already made more than conquerors through him who loved them!
SERMON: REVELATION 22:17 [3/6] [EASTER MONDAY EVENING]